Children & Adolescents

Childhood can be a complicated journey. At times it can be magical and joyful and, and at others, beset by challenges. As a parent, watching your child struggle with a difficult issue—be it social, academic, emotional or behavioral–can be heart wrenching. Children’s lives are multi-faceted and navigating the many worlds in which they participate can be complex. A teacher may report behavior that is unseen at home; a child may act differently with siblings than with friends. A child may have difficulty expressing him or herself and may lash out or withdraw instead. Parents often feel overwhelmed and helpless, unsure of what to do while children may develop a sense that there is something innately wrong them. Therapy can be a place to slow down and explore what’s really going on and how it is affecting the child.

My goal in working with children is to help them identify and express their feelings, gain clarity of their experiences and challenges, identify their strengths and resources, support their resiliency and empower them to find solutions that work for who they are.

I work with children to:

  • increase emotional regulation
  • address mood issues, such as depression, anxiety and anger
  • process loss, due to the death of a loved one or divorce/split family
  • adjust to changes caused by transitions
  • address issues that arise at school, such as behavior concerns, academic struggles or bullying
  • process the affects of physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • explore their role in the family.

I have worked with children within the school setting and understand the complexities of addressing issues when there are numerous voices in the mix, such as teachers, school administrators or school psychologists.

 

When one takes into consideration two facts about adolescents—that their brains are still years away from reaching maturity and their main task is to form a separate identity from their families—it can explain a great deal, but it doesn’t necessarily make things easier for them or their families. An adolescent’s behavior can range from confounding to outright concerning. Communication can be non-existent or become derailed in a second. Moods can swing from loving to caustic. All of this can be hard on parents and families, but it can also be hard on the teenager who is experiencing rapid physical and emotional changes while trying to navigate a world that may be filled with social challenges, academic pressures and complex choices.

When an adolescent is struggling or in crisis, sometimes talking to a parent or other concerned adult can be the last thing they want to do. I understand that the most important thing when working with any adolescent is to establish and maintain trust. In my work with teens, I search for the unique way in which each person wants to connect.

Art therapy can be highly appealing to teenagers, tapping into their innate creativity and offering them a non-traditional means of communication. Using a mind-body approach, such as EMDR, can also be very effective in desensitizing triggers, increasing awareness of the physiological responses and increasing emotional regulation.

If you think that I could be helpful to your child, please contact me for a free 15-minute consultation.

Contact:

Telephone: 424.281.7209
Email: click to e-mail